Laugh together

We love house guests! And over the years, we have had many.
Friends from college, friends from our years in Edmonton, Alberta, friends who sadly have left our current community, and family from New York state, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and eastern and western Canada.
But we rarely have two different groups of house guests separated by only five hours!
That happened last Friday when our long-time friends, Art and Doris, left after breakfast. We had just enough time for me to do my daily water exercise and my daughter to make a pot of chili for a late lunch with my husband’s nephew, Brian, and his wife, Lori, from western Canada.
On the surface, these two couples appear to have little in common, except their career success and their dedication to service.
One couple living in Orange City, Iowa; one in Red Deer, Alta. One husband a retired pastor, college president, and fundraiser par excellence; his wife a retired high school librarian.
The other husband a mid-career chiropractor; his wife an elementary music teacher, figure skater, and pianist.
The latter two are taking a year from their careers to travel the world and do some service, which includes a mission trip–taking health supplies to Cuba on a 70-foot sailboat.
Launching from Baltimore, the ship will have a crew of seven, including Brian and Lori.
A somewhat daring venture since Lori has had no previous experience ocean sailing and Brian almost lost his life in a sailboat accident close to the Fiji Islands more than 20 years ago.
But they’re not worried!
During their short stay, Brian said multiple times, “The biggest mistake people make in life is worrying.”
Another difference between the two couples is their relationship to us. Art and Doris, for instance, have been close friends for years. We have many pleasant memories of shared experiences.
On the other hand, separated by distance and busy schedules, my husband and I had not seen Brian for more than a decade, and our children had not seen him since high school.
And none of us had met Lori. But we all bonded immediately.
And just before leaving, Brian said, with his characteristic humour, “I don’t much care for people, but you’re some of the nicest people I have ever met!”
We felt the same about them.
At first, the couples appeared to have little in common, but it turned out that the common denominator was laughter. Both couples love to laugh.
Knowing how laughter enhances our health, we had a very healthy week. And a fun week!
Audrey Hepburn once said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh.
“It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person’s life.”
Yes! Laughter bonds.
But there is also a serious side to life. After the fun-filled days, just before leaving, Art stood by the open door and said, “At our age, we never know whether we will see each other again.”
And he became pastor again, reciting the Mizpah Benediction (Genesis 31:49): “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other.”
What a wonderful ending to a fun-filled visit.
Write Marie Snider at